Nearly 20 years after Princess Diana’s death, Prince William is ready to talk intimately about losing his mom. In British GQ’s July issue, the 34-year-old Duke of Cambridge opened up about how Diana’s unexpected death affected his mental health, and why he’s so passionate about helping others now. William, who was 15 when his mother passed, has recently become an ambassador for the Heads Together campaign—which aims to end stigma around mental illness—alongside his brother, Prince Harry, and wife, Kate.
The issue, which hits newstands on June 1, features the prince’s full conversation with journalist Alastair Campbell. Here, five things we’ve learned about Prince William from excerpts of the emotional interview.
Through Heads Together, he wants to change society’s perception of mental illness
“Smashing the taboo is our biggest aim. We cannot go anywhere much until that is done. People can’t access services till they feel less ashamed, so we must tackle the taboo, the stigma, for goodness sake, this is the 21st century,” he told GQ.
He wants his kids to have a “normal” life
“I want George to grow up in a real, living environment, I don’t want him growing up behind palace walls, he has to be out there,” the father of two said. “The media make it harder but I will fight for them to have a normal life.”
He wishes Princess Diana could have met his kids
“I would like to have had her advice. I would love her to have met Catherine and to have seen the children grow up,” he said. “It makes me sad that she won’t, that they will never know her.”
His family is what keeps him going
“I could not do my job without the stability of the family. Stability at home is so important to me. I want to bring up my children in a happy, stable, secure world and that is so important to both of us as parents.”
It’s still hard, but he’s ready to talk about his mother’s death
“I am in a better place about it than I have been for a long time, where I can talk about her more openly, talk about her more honestly, and I can remember her better, and publicly talk about her better,” he said. “It has taken me almost 20 years to get to that stage. I still find it difficult now because at the time it was so raw. And also it is not like most people’s grief, because everyone else knows about it, everyone knows the story, everyone knows her.”
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